Career Transition From Database Administrator to Cybersecurity
Last Updated : 11 Sep, 2023
We are surrounded by data but starved for insights. – Jay Baer
Each day hackers are stealing data worth millions, and selling it for personal gains. Government, private organisations and individuals are engaging in collective cybersecurity measures to protect themselves and their sensitive data and systems from cyber threats. Growing awareness about cybersecurity has further led to rising demand for cybersecurity professionals.
In fact, the cybersecurity industry is only proliferating, thereby extending an in-demand job opportunity for ambitious professionals. Growing demand for cybersecurity professionals and the assurance of high salaries and job security have been inspiring professionals from other fields to step into cybersecurity. This trend of transitioning into cybersecurity is mostly being observed among professionals from tech backgrounds, such as Database Administrators.
Database administrators hold a strong foundation in managing and safeguarding valuable data- one of the most crucial aspects of cybersecurity. With the ever-increasing demand for cyber security professionals, transitioning from database administration to cybersecurity would be one of the best career options with a high salary. In this blog, we will explore the reasons why joining cybersecurity courses is the right choice for professionals like yourself.
Who Are Database Administrators?
Database administrators (DBA) are technicians responsible for maintaining an organisation’s databases and related applications for seamless operations. Organisations that use database management systems (DBMS) for their day-to-day operations require DBAs to oversee the ongoing, uninterrupted flow of data to all the parties within the organisation.
Key responsibilities of a DBA include:
- Designing, maintaining, and implementing a database system,
- Set up policies and procedures related to the security and use of database management system,
- A DBA is responsible for troubleshooting and resolution of issues arising in times of system outage. They work in optimising the performance of tasks and programs that access the database,
- Backing up databases for quick and easy recovery in the event of system outrage failure.
DBAs usually come with a background in computer science or information technology with additional on-the-job training on specific database products.
Both database administrators and cyber security professionals are responsible for the security and maintenance of databases from external and internal threats. As the world is moving towards data-driven operations, a career switch from DBA to cyber security could be highly rewarding.
If you are a database administrator looking for a new challenge, exponential career growth, and a higher salary package, cybersecurity may be the perfect career for you.
Why Cybersecurity as A Career?
Post-pandemic, the world has witnessed close to a 600% spike in cyber crimes (Source: Interpol). On average, online attacks can cost a company an estimated amount of $2.5 million (including the time needed to resolve the attack)!
For organisations, both big and small, cyber attacks can prove fatal. Apart from financial losses, cyber attacks can lead to potential data losses, impact its reputation, and create customer distrust. They need people who can manage and secure their data, devices, and network from hackers, and quickly resolve data breaches in the event of hacking.
These organisations are looking for ethical hackers, cyber security analysts, and pentesters for overlooking their systems for potential vulnerabilities and fixing them on the go. And they are willing to pay up to INR 45 LPA to the top talents (source: indiatimes.com).
Unfortunately, India as well as the world is facing an acute talent shortage. Currently, there are close to 25,000 unfilled cyber security roles in the market and the same report quotes that the numbers are going to rise up in the future.
But there is a silver lining for someone trying to make it into this domain. The ongoing talent gap in the industry means the people who join the domain now will get better career opportunities, job security, and higher salaries than their peers working in the other domains.
No doubt, transitioning from database administrator to cybersecurity is highly promising. But the field is not limited to only this profession. Other candidates can join internet security courses after graduation for a high salary and other benefits.
Database Administrators vs. Cybersecurity
Both DBAs and cybersecurity professionals work in high-demand domains, but they have different responsibilities. While DBA is solely responsible for the security and maintenance of databases, a cybersecurity professional is responsible for protecting the organisation from hackers and other threats.
Database admins are proficient in database management systems (DBMSs), while cyber security professionals come with a strong understanding of computer networks and operating systems. Also, the DBAs are responsible for designing, installing, configuring, and maintaining databases, while cyber security professionals work on developing and implementing security policies and procedures, detecting and responding to cyberattacks, and educating employees about cybersecurity risks.
Since database admins are primarily responsible for maintaining an organisation’s databases and related applications, a clear understanding of relevant cybersecurity measures is highly important.
Why Do Database Administrators Need To Understand Cybersecurity?
Since databases contain sensitive data, such as customer information, financial data, and intellectual property of the organisation, they often become the primary targets for hackers. Cyber security-trained DBAs can protect sensitive data and prevent hackers from taking over the system. They can use their knowledge of the DBMS to prevent hackers from attacking, manipulating, or deleting the database. Thus, transitioning from database administrator to cybersecurity could be highly beneficial.
How to Get Into Cybersecurity?
Since the demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to grow, transitioning from database admin roles to cybersecurity could be highly rewarding. As most database admins come from computer science or related fields, they can easily get into a cybersecurity role with only a few years of experience.
If you are transitioning from database administration to cyber security, you need to identify your knowledge gaps and work towards them.
Acquire Relevant Certifications:
Cybersecurity certifications are highly valued in the industry. Consider pursuing industry-relevant certifications such as Certification In Ethical Hacking, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH v12), or Cybersecurity Essentials Program. These certifications demonstrate your commitment to the field and can enhance your career prospects.
Move Towards Specialisations:
After gaining a fundamental understanding, it’s time to turn your attention to cyber security specialisations. Some popular cyber security specialisations include network security, cyber forensics, and advanced pentesting.
Gain Hands-on Experience:
Practical experience is crucial in cybersecurity. While working on certifications, look for cybersecurity projects or internships that focus on internet security, or opt for security-related tasks in your current role as a database administrator. This experience will help you build a strong foundation and showcase your abilities to potential employers.
Networking and Professional Development:
Networking and engaging with the cyber security community is immensely helpful for someone starting off new in this domain. Networking provides valuable insights, mentorship opportunities, and potential job opportunities for cyber security aspirants.
Apply for Entry-Level Positions:
Once you are done with gaining relevant certifications, it is time to build your resume and apply for entry-level job positions such as – security analyst, security administrator, or incident responder. These roles will allow you to gain practical experience and further develop your skills. Adapt your resume to highlight relevant cybersecurity-related skills and experiences. Emphasise your database administration background and showcase how it aligns with the requirements of cybersecurity roles. Be sure to include any certifications or practical experience you have gained.
Cybersecurity is an ever-evolving field, so it’s important to stay updated with the latest trends, technologies, and threats. Continuously invest in your professional development by attending training courses, webinars, and pursuing advanced certifications to expand your skill set and stay competitive in the industry.
Both database administration and cyber security require knowledge of network systems and experience in managing and securing data. Plus, both professions require problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and analytical thinking to resolve hacking incidents.
In conclusion, transitioning from a database administrator to a career in cybersecurity can be a rewarding and promising move. With the increasing demand for cybersecurity professionals, your skills and experience as a database admin can serve as a strong foundation for success.
By understanding the field, identifying transferable skills, and addressing skill gaps, you can pave the way for a successful transition. And Dataspace Academy could be your partner in this transition. We have a multi-level cyber security course that can help build your cyber security career. Our beginner-friendly courses like Certification In Ethical Hacking and Certified Ethical Hacker V12 provide you with a fundamental understanding of cyber security. You can then progress to more advanced-level courses to improve your knowledge and understanding of the domain.
So are you ready to make your career in cybersecurity???